history 105 US homework

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fhygna983

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i have a history US 105 and i have my first assignment 

Assignment must be typed with your name at the top 

select one of the documents and write one to two sentences (or a little more if you like) in response to this question: What does this document tell you about the 1950s in the United States?

make it simple and easy to explain an underline the most importing in this story because i will respoinse this question in the class 

Isserman-Kazin-Why Vietnam War.pdf copy.pdf 

Giddings-Womens Movement and Black Discontent.pdf 

Anderson-Fr Countercult to 60s Cult.pdf


Finally, after you select a document and answer the question summarize the document you choose and write note about it cuz i have to read it as well     

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- CHAPTEP 4 Wh,, DiJ thn UnitnJ Stotn' Fight in Vintno-? NrtrHrn you NoR I xNow rHr AurntceNs wELL, OF THEM . . . THAN orHER cAptrAltsr NATIoNS. THrY wtt-t- BUT wHAT wE Do KNow SUCCESTS THAT THEY ARE MORE PRACTICAL AND CLEAR-SIGHTED VtrrNnt'a Nor PouR THEIR RESoURCES lNTo ENDLESSLY. -Ho Chi Minh, in conversation with a Communist diplomat, autumn 19631 The Vietnam War was the longest war the United States ever fought. It also proved the most demoralizing for Americans, plunging the nation into its most bitter civil conflict in a century. Before the war ran its course, more than 58,000 Americans, and millions of Vietnamese, would die. Before the war ran its course, two American presidencies would be either directly or indirectly shattered by its consequences. Before the war ran its course, Americans would get used to thinking of each other as divided into polarized enemy camps: pro-war and antiwar, hawks and doves, and on from there to ever more scurrilous epithets. No legacy of the 1960s had as long and embittering an effect on the politics and culture of the United States as that left by the war in Vietnam. The war in Vietnam differed from other American conflicts in which the United States had fought for clearly defined strategic or territorial goals. In Vietnam, the rationale for fighting the war, like the battlefront itself, was constantly shifting. The most consistent explanation for why Americans needed to fight in Vietnam was the defense of the "credibility" of the United Statesin itself a murky, ambiguous goal. Viernam also differed from other American wars in which clearly defined lines divided peace and war, such as the Confederate firing on Fort Sumter in 186L In Vietnam no single event or decision clearly marked the beginning of the war. Arguments could be made to date the real start of the con67 68 Amenca Divided flict, or at least the point of no return, anytime from the mid-I950s until the mid-1960s. The roots of American involvement stretch back much further.2 Vietnam, a country that is roughly the size of New Mexico in square miles, stretches in an S-shaped curve along the eastern seaboard of Southeast Asia. Two fertile river deltas, the Red River in the north and the Mekong River in the south, fan out to the sea. A narrow coastal plain runs up the seacoast, while rugged mountain chains and high plateaus run north and south the length of the country's heavily forested interior. When Americans first fought in Vietnam, they did so, ironically, as allies of Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Indochina, which includes Laos and Cambodia as well as Vietnam, had been colonized by France since the late nineteenth century, the richest and most important colony in the French empire. For over a half century the French ruthlessly suppressed any challenge to their authority in the region. Then, in 1940, France was itself conquered by Nazi Germany. The followingyear, French Indochina was occupied by Japan. French colonialists offered little resistance to the Japanese invaders, but Ho Chi Minh and the Communists formed a national resistance movement, opposing both theJapanese occupation and French colonialism. Within four years the Viet Minh had a half million followers, and a 5000-man army. In the closing days of the Second World War, a team of American intelligence agents parachuted behindJapanese lines in Vietnam to establish contact with Ho Chi Minh's forces. These troops, the Viet Minh, had proved themselves useflul to the Americans by rescuing downed American fliers. In July 1945 the Americans brought medical supplies and small arms to Ho, and trained his Viet Minh fighters in guerrilla tactics. Two months later, following the Japanese surrender, American advisers were with Ho when his troops marched in to take control of Hanoi, the principal city of northern Vietnam. On September 2,1945, Ho, a frail man with a wispy beard, whose bearing suggested more a scholar than a military commander or a politician, stood beflore a crowd of a half-million of his countrymen in a central square in Hanoi and declared Vietnamese independence. He chose to do so in words that sounded familiar to the American military men in attendance: "We hold truths that all men are created equal," Ho declared. "That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights: among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."3 Though he had borrowed freely from the American declaration of independence, Ho Chi Minh was by no means a Jeffersonian democrat. He was a hard-bitten revolutionary who had spent many years in exile from Vietnam in the service of the Communist movement. He was born as Nguyen Tat Thanh in 1890 in Nghe An Province in central coastal Vietnam. Though well educated, he signed onto a ship in 1912 as a common laborer and sailed over the next few years to Africa, Europe and North America. (During this period - Wy 69 FromGratd Expecrarions: The United States, 1945-1974by James copyright @ 1996 by oxford lJnfuersity Press, Inc. IJsed by permission of ox- Map of Vietnam. Source: T. Pdtterson. Did the United States Fight in Vietnam? ford Uni,rersity Press, lnc. 70 America Diyided he lived for nearly a year in Brooklyn, New York.) His thoughts, however, remained anchored in his homeland, and it was during this period also that he took a new name, Nguyen Ai-Quoc, which means "Nguyen the patriot" in Vietnamese. He would not become known by the name Ho Chi Minh ("He Who Enlightens" in Vietnamese) unril 1944. During the First World War and its immediate aftermath, Ho lived in Paris. There, in 1920, he joined the French Communist Party. Communist leaders in Moscow had issued a call for world revolution, including the over- throw of the colonial regimes of Asia and Africa. To Ho, the Communist movement represented a long-sought ally for Vietnamese independence. He rose quickly within the leadership of the international Communist movement, traveling to Moscow and China on its behalf. In 1930 Ho held a secret meeting in Hong Kong to organize the Vietnamese Communist Party. However, the party could not function openly in Vietnam. The French regularly executed nationalist and Communist opponents in Vietnam; Ho knew he faced a death sentence if he was captured. In 19,1I he slipped back into Viernam ro organize the Viet Minh to do battle with the Japanese and the French. Ho was a Communist, but his first priority was attaining Vietnamese independence. During the Second World War, he came ro hope that the United States, for reasons of its own, could be brought to support the cause of Vietnamese independence. America's wartime leader, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was certainly no admirer of French colonialism. "[T]he case of Indochina is perfectly clear," he wrote to Secretary of State Cordell Hull inJanuary 1944. "France has milked it for one hundred years. The people of Indochina are entitled to something better than that."a Beyond vague speculation about establishing an international "trusteeship" to govern Indochina after the war, however, Roosevelt never spelled out any definite alternatives to allowing the French to reestablish their control of the region. The world changed swiftly in the monrhs that followed Roosevelt's death in April 1945, with the unraveling of the wartime alliance of the United srates, Britain, and the Soviet Union. In March 1947 President Harry Truman announced what became known as the Truman Doctrine, declaring it the policy of the United States "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."5 Never before had an American president committed the nation to a foreign policy that, potentially, involved an unceasing series of military interventions throughout the world. ln Vietnam, in the year following the end of the Second World War, the contending French and viet Minh forces faced each other in an uneasy standoff. In February 1946 Ho wrore Truman and asked that the united states become the "guardian" of Vietnam. Noting that the United States had recently granted independence to its former protectorate in the Philippine islands, Ho -Why Did the Ilnited States Fight in Vietnam? 7l declared: "Like thel-1,!lni""r our goar is -full independence and full cooperarion with the UNITED srATES. we will do our best ro make this inde_ pendence and cooperation profitable to the whole world.,,6 In all, Ho addressed r l such messages to the American government. His movement received no material aid from the soviet Union, oJrrry other Com_ munist country in those years. some American intelligence officers who kept tabs on Indochina in the 1940s believed Ho had the iotential ro become rhe "Tito of southeast d5i3"-1[21 is, like Marshar rrto of vugorl*iu, he wourd steer an independent course in foreign relations, not behJldei to trr. Soviet Union. Truman never responded to Ho's entreaties. Indochina was a minor con_ cern to American policyrnakers. Their main concern was the defense of western Europe, where France was a varued American alry. The French, suffered a grave narional humiliation who had with their defeai ,.rd o..rrpution by the Nazis, had no intention of relinquishing control over their coloniar empire. To Truman and his advisers, there sermed no alternative to backing the French in Indochina. In November 1946 French forces went on the offensive against Minh' French warships bombarded the northern vietnailese the viet port of Haiph-ong, krlling 6000 civilians. The viet Minh abandoned the ciries to the French and fought back_from the countryside, using the crassic guerriila tac_ tics of stealth and surprise other armies were on the march in Asia. In october 1949 chinese Com_ munist forces led by Mao Zedong came to power on the chinese mainrand; afterward, arms and ammunitioi began ro be smuggred to the viet Minh across the chinese-vietnamese bordei. InJune 1950 the armies of commu_ nist North Korea swept over the border into South Korea. To American leaders, the events in China and Korea were ominously reminiscent of Hitler,s aggression in Europe in the late 1g30s; in 1g50 president Truman believed that the Korean invasion represented the opening shots of a Third world War. the experience of dealing with the Nazis in the I930s, _ American -From leaders concluded that appeasement only whetted th" upp"tit" of uggr.rro.r. The only way to deter an expansionist dictatorship, whether led by a Hitrer or a Stalin, was the resolute application of counterforce. It was with this un_ derstanding rhar Truman inJune 1950 committed America,s military might to the aid of the beleaguered South Koreans. For the first time, American soldiers were engaged in a fuil-scale shooting war against a communist foe. That same month, the United States began prorridirrg *ititury supplies to the French forces in Indochina. By L954 American aid hl'd irrc."ur"d'ti ,rr. p"i", where the united States was funding nearly B0 percent of the French war effort. The viet Minh proved a formidable enemy, and after a series of military . setbacks, the French switched commanders in Indochina. In May 1953, the 72 Amenca Divided new French commander, General Henri Navarre, declared, "Now we can see [victoryJ clearly, like light at rhe end of a runnel."7 The phrase would come back to haunt him. Seeking a climactic showdown with the viet Minh, the French commander sent 15,000 crack troops to a remote village in north- western vietnam called Dien Bien Phu. But in their overconfidence, the French neglected to occupy the heights surrounding their new base. viet Minh troops under the command of vo Nguyen Giap cut roads through supposedly impassable rerrain, and dragged artillery to those hilltops. on March 13,1954, they launched their offensive, cutring off the French garrison from reinforcement or retreat. Americans took part in the attempted resupply of the garrison; two American pilots were shot down and killed in the effort. A crisis atmosphere prevailed in washington as Admiral Arthur Radford, chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff, proposed to president Eisenhower that the United states relieve the defenders by means of air strikes, possibly including the use of tactical nuclear weapons. several influential lawmakers, including senatorJohn F. Kennedy and Senate majority leader Lyndon B. Johnson, warned against intervention, as did Army Chief of Staff General Matthew Ridgway. No one wanred another costly land war in Asia. Eisenhower, who had been elected in November 1952 in part because o[ his promise to a war-weary electorate to end the Korean war, held back. surrounded and outnumbered, the battered survivors of the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu surrendered to the viet Minh on }y'.ay 7,1954. In the weeks that followed, a conference of western and Communist powers meeting in Geneva, switzerland, drew up an agreement to end the conflict. The Geneva accords provided for the temporary division of vietnam at the 17th parallel, with viet Minh forces left in control of the northern half of the country and the vietnamese emperor Bao Dai (an ally of the French) in control of the southern half. Nationwide elections were scheduled for 1956 to reunify the country. As president Eisenhower would later acknowledge, Ho Chi Minh was by far rhe mosr popular political figure in vietnam during the war and would easily have won a free election for national leader.s shortly before the fall of Dien Bien phu, president Eisenhower likened the Ioss of vietnam to the communists to a "falling domino": "you have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is rhe certainty that it will go over very quickly. . . . So, ttr" porsible consequences of the loss are just incalculable to the free world."e over the next few years Eisenhower committed substantial economic and military aid to shoring up an independent anticommunist regime in southern vietnam. Ngo Dinh Diem, a conservative nationalist from a wealthy background, emerged as the new strong man in south Vietnamese politics. He returned from years of exile in the United States and Belgium in 1954 to become prime minister under Emperor Bao Dai. Diem, an ardent Catholic, enjoyed the pa- W Did the Ilnited States Fight in Vietnam? 73 tronage of influential American backers, including Senator Kennedy and New York city's cardinal spelrman. In ocrober t9:ioiem organized a nadonar referendum that led to the creation of the new Republic of vietnam (south vietnam), with its capital in saigon. Diem was elect"d the republic,s firsr pres_ ident by means of a blatantly rigged erection. The followirrg ,r-rr,", he re- fused to allow reunification ele.tio* with northern vietnam to be held as scheduled by the Geneva accords. In the meantime, the Communists consolidated their own power in the Democratic Republic of vietnam (North vietnam), wirh irs capital in Hanoi. when Diem visited the United states in May 1957, President Eisenhower hailed him as the .,miracle man,, of Asia, who had saved southern vietnam from communist enslavement. without American aid, however, Diem could never have remained in power. In the mid-I960s the U.S. Defense Department undertook u ,op-r"...i study of the origins of American involvement the vietnam war. The authors of what be_ came known as the "pentagon papers" concluded, simpry, that ..South vietnam was essentially the creation the United States.,,ro As fears ofsoviet conquest ofwestern Europe subsided in the later r950s, the focus of Cold war competition shifted to wirat *u, u"girring to be called the "Third world," the less developed nations of Asia, Afrifa, uriLati., Amer_ ic-a' Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev pledged his country,r'rrppoa ro *wars of national liberation," and many in tire third worrd, tit curi.o in cuba, looked to the communist worrd for models of revolutionr.y" ,i*ggr. and economic development. But in south vietnam, the march of co*-,,,r.rism had apparently been stopped in its tracks. The country was emerging in the eyes of American policymakers as a "proving ground for democraiy,,ls th"n-s"rrator Kennedy called it.ll Edward Lansdale (head of the cIA mission in saigon), forged crose relations with Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem owed a lot ro t-anJaate, *i? n"tp"d o.ganize a mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of northern vietnamese catholics to south vietnam in L954. catholic refugees became Diem,s most reliable supporters-in a counrry with a rarge nuJdhist majority. Lansdare also- made generous use of CIA funds to buy off potential south vietnamese rivals to Diem. . The early days of American involvement in Vietnam were armost like an adventure-story. ogden williams, a cIA official who worked u, u, urrirtu.,t to colonel Lansdale in saigon, wourd later recail his time in vietnam with obvious nostalgia. First of ail, there was a strong *sense of mission,, shared by the military advisers and intelligence agents in the counrry: we were the nation that had won world war II and was honored throughout the world. To serve the United sures overseas was a dream in trror. aryf i"lurr" yo, had.very high standing-even low-level Americans did. we had enormous in that period. presrige 74 America Divided Americans had long cherished the belief that they had a special role to play 1n determining the future of Asia. Generarions of rehgious missionaries had dedicated their lives to redeeming China from pagan superstition and barbaric custom. The Communist revolution in China had brought the expulsion of those missionaries. But some of the same impulse lived on, in more secular form, among the young men like ogden williams who were sent to Saigon in the I950s with the goal of preserving the south viernamese from the political dangers that beset them from the north. And it didn't hurt that Vietnam was such an exotic destination: There was that sense of a young country, which was very inspiring. . . . There was very graceful, traditional culture, an enormously pleasant *ry oilif". saigon was an elegant city. The beautiful tropical foliage, the flamboyanr trees, the cabarets, the lovely slim women. . . . The whole thing was just elegant and romantic as hell. . . . It was always an enormous letdown to come back to the United states.r2 a Those who served in vietnam in those years knew, of course, that the Diem regime's methods of governing were less than democratic. His American-trained police arrested tens of thousands of political opponents, many of whom were tortured and executed. His government reclaimed land that had been turned over ro rhe peasanrs by the viet Minh during the first Indochinese war and distributed it to wealthy landlords and catholic refugees. But, in the name of shoring up an anti-communist ally, Americans in Saigon and washington were willing to overlook Diem's shortcomings. Certainly the North vietnamese Communists, who executed thousands of peasant landowners during "land re_form" campaigns in the mid-I950s, were no gentler in their own methods of governing. Given the choice, Americans belieied, no people would of their own volition choose communism over the politicai and material advantages offered by an alliance with the United states. what American diplomatic and politicar srrategists overlooked was that the vietnamese had their own way of looking at the world, one that did not necessarily coincide with rhe assumprions guiding policymaking in wash- ington. American policymakers looked at Ho and saw a communist; vietnamese peasants looked at Ho and saw a patriot. A thousand years before the start of the second world war, a vietnamese army had driven out Chinese invaders to establish an independent kingdom. Time and again in the centuries that followed, the vietnamese fought would-be .orqr,"iorc from china and other nations. vietnamese history was filled with stories of heroes and martyrs in the cause of independence, and Ho chi Minh and the viet Minh inherited their prestige when they chailenged and defeated the French in 1946-1954. Joseph Alsop, a prominenr American journalist and ordinarily a staunch supporter of cold war assumptions, toured viet Minh-controlled areas of southern vietnam in December 1954. He described it as an under- -7 W Did the United States Fight in Vietnam? 75 ground government (a "palm hut state") with a "loyal population" of nearly 2 million Vietnamese: At first, it was difficult for me, as it is for any Westerner, to conceive of a Communist government's genuinely "serving the people." I could hardly imagine a Communist government that was also a popular government and almost a democratic government. But this is just the sort of government the palm-hut state actually was.13 Few of Alsop's countrymen in the 1950s were prepared to look beyond the stereotypes o[ the Cold war in interpreting events in southeast Asia (and Alsop himself would later become a firm supporrer of the U.S. war effort in Vietnam). In opposing Ho, Diem could counr on the backing of most of the country's Catholic population. His other major source of support was the army, most of whose commanders had served the French in the war against the Viet Minh. Diem used the army, and his American-trained police force, to root out the vestiges of Viet Minh support in the south. Thousands of suspected Communists were killed or imprisoned. Starting in 1957, former Viet Minh soldiers still living in southern vietnam countered with their own campaign of assassination of Diem's police agents and village chiefs. with weapons left over from the First Indochina War, or captured from Diem's forces, they also launched small-scale attacks against government forces. Ho Chi Minh and other North Vietnamese Communist leaders were ambivalent about the campaign. They wanted to solve pressing political and economic problems in the north before being drawn into renewed military conflict. It was not until 1959 that Hanoi decided to lend its support to the spontaneously emerging guerrilla movement in South Vietnam. Southern-born Viet Minh soldiers, who had moved to northern Vietnam after the partition of rhe counrry, rerurned to join the struggle. Some of them were regular soldiers in the North vietnamese army; before they left for the south they exchanged their army uniforms for the black pajamas of the typical Vietnamese peasant. They made their way southward along a network of rough paths and dirt roads running through the border regions of eastern Laos and Cambodia, which came ro be known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. There they joined up with rhe existing guerrilla forces in the South. In De- cember 1960, the revolutionary movement in South Vietnam officially established itself as the National Liberation Front (NLF). south Vietnamese and American official called them the Viet Cong, a derogatory phrase for "Vietnamese Communists." To the American soldiers who would soon be arriving by the thousands in South Viernam, the enemy would become familiarly known as the "VC," or "Victor Charlie," or just "Charlie."ra WhenJohn F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural address pledging that the United States would "pay any price, bear any burden, [and] meet any hard- 76 America Divided Q 1 Ho Chi Minh. Source: Archiye Photos ship" in the defense of liberty around the world, there were about g00 American military advisers stationed in south vietnam. The war was beginning to cost Americans lives as well as money; two U.S. advisers were killed in a guerrilla attack at Bienhoa in July 1959, the first Americans to die in the renewed warfare in Vietnam. Kennedy's first six monrhs in office were filled with setbacks in foreign policy. In June 196I, when Kennedy met with Khrushchev in Geneva, rhe soviet leader had attempted to intimidate the inexperienced American president. Shaken by Russian bullying, Kennedy remarked to a reporter afterwards; "Now we have a problem in making our power credible, and vietnam is the place."l5 But was vietnam the right place ro reestablish "credibility" with the Russians? Kennedy's top foreign policy advisers, almost to a man, agreed that it was. one of the trademarks of these men was their habitual reliance on argument by statistical analysis-although in reality the statistics they cited were often substantiated by little more than guesswork and wishful thinking. Thus acting Assistant Secrerary of Defense william Bundy, a graduare of Haivard Law School and a fbrmer CIA agent, sent a memorandum to Robert Mc- Why Did the united States Fight in Vietnam? Namara in october.rg6r outrining u.s. options in South vietnam in the of recenr gains by the Viet Cong: 77 face An early and hard-hitting operation has a good chance (70olo would be my guess) of arresting things and giving oiem , .hu.rJe to do better and clean up. Even if we follow up hard . . . however, the chances are not much better that we will in fact be able to- clean up the situation. It all depends on Diem,s effectiveness, which is very problematical. The 30olo chance is that we wind up rike the French in 1954; white men can't win this kind of fight. on a 70-30 basis, I would myself favor go_ ing in.r6 For all his criticisms of Eisenhower's foreign policy, Kennedy was no more eager than his predecessor to involve the U;nited stui", r, a major rand war in Asia' But he never seriously considered uburdoring th" A*.ri.r, commitment to the preservation of a noncommunist South vietnam. Like Eisenhower' he believed in the domino theory. In early s"ft"*u* of 1963, he was interviewed. for cBS News by television .".."Ipr"a.nt warter Cronkite. while telring Cronkite that .,in the final ,ruryri*;ii" war was one that the south Vietnamese wourd have to win for themselves, he arso warned o-f the consequences of defeat. should the United states withdraw from sourh vietnam and leave it to. its fate, "pretty soon Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaya would go and alr of southeart ariu wourd be under conrror of the communists and under the domination of the Chinese.,,r7 And Kennedy was also haunted by the memory of how the last Democrat to sit in the white House, Harry Truman, had been attacked by Republicans for ,,losing,, china. As he commenred to an aide in 1963, "If I triei to pull our complerely now from vietnam we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands."18 The use of credibility as a radonale for American involvement had the quality of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more the United States declared that vietnam was the prace where its credibility would be established, the more its credibility would suffer if things didn't work our as expected- ceorge Ball, who served as undersecretary of state in both the Kenneiy-urrJ-Jorr.rro, uaministrations, was one of the few dissenters from the p."1*rL"sensus in the executive branch.,Ball warned- Kennedy in t96r that deepening invorvement in viernam could get our of hand, leading to the a"frJf-"", of hun_ dreds of thousands of American rroops withinl r.* y.u.J-iime. t
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I was having a hard time with this subject, and this was a great help.

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